Happy Monday friends. Soon, we’ll be headed down to Phoenix Children’s Hospital so we can hopefully figure out what ails our son (prayers welcome). As it often goes, I’m trying to get through this while juggling multiple projects that won’t wait for me to be ready, so I’ve fallen behind on writing and, well, everything else.
But would you be interested in a project I’m starting with a friend ? Are you a writer? Do you feel like marketing your writing(s) and building your platform is demanding a higher priority than God? Several years ago, I attended a mini writer’s conference with a well-known Christian agent. I enjoyed meeting him and learned a great deal, although a few things he said left me troubled. He mentioned that unless a writer has already generated a successful platform and MANY social media followers, most large publishers will not consider their book, no matter how well-written, no matter what message it contains. There are rare exceptions, of course.
While I understand that publishers, even Christian publishers, run businesses and have to consider the marketability of an author, the all-powerful bottom line feels immensely wrong.
Yes, marketing is important; no one would ever know about books otherwise, but God gave us faith first. Not faith in our ability to make money, but faith in Him. He gives us talent and story ideas. What about you? Perhaps there’s just one person who needs to read your blog, or that article you wrote, or the book-in-progress sitting on your desk. Maybe you are more than an entertainer. Maybe you’re a missionary. Perhaps your mission field is within the pages of your manuscript. Is that one (several, maybe many) person God has inspired you to reach not more important than bowing to the gods of money?
As Christians, money should never come first, business or not. God says it simply: “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3:6. That doesn’t say if the author is bankable. It doesn’t say as long as the author has 20,000 followers. (Those of us who read a lot have recognized that some books get published because the name on the cover sells them, not necessarily because the quality of writing/message is excellent). It says in everything, put God first.
Please understand I’m not discouraging publication with a large publisher, I’m just trying to help bring the industry back to the roots of who we were made to be.
Roots Writers Social Media and Critique Group is an in-person and online writers group. We’re starting soon, with our first meeting in the Prescott area, but in February, it’s open to you. Every other month we’ll meet online. It’s free. For those interested in joining or even starting a local chapter, visit this page.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Tell us in the comments.